This paper summarizes AI’s concerns in Peru over the past nine years. Since 1983 AI has received reports of widespread “disappearances”, extrajudicial killings and torture, including rape, by members of the security forces. AI considers the phenomenon of virtual impunity for perpetrators a key factor in the persistance of such violations, which occur in the context of violent campaigns waged by armed opposition groups, namely “Sendero Luminoso” and the Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru. The official response to attacks by these bodies has been to place large areas under military control. Some 4,000 “disappearances” and 15 mass killings, mostly in emergency zones, have been reported since 1983 and those trying to defend human rights have been threatened and attacked.